Top national award for Surrey golf club

Addington Court

A Surrey golf club which has introduced 2000 children to golf over the last three years, has won a top national award for its schools programme.

Addington Court Golf Club, on the outskirts of Croydon, is among the winners of the 2012 Community Sport and Recreation Awards from the Sport and Recreation Alliance. It’s the third time in two years that the club has been recognised for its work with schools.

Director of golf Paul Oliver said: “We are thrilled to have won this award. We work hard with local schools and really enjoy seeing the children progress. This national award really is the icing on the cake.”

The club was nominated by England Golf, the amateur governing body, and beat off the challenge from a host of other sports to win the School Links award.

Addington Court’s PGA professionals take structured coaching sessions with 24 primary schools and 12 secondary schools in Croydon. This has made golf accessible to many youngsters who would not have otherwise been introduced to the sport.

The club has also forged links with pupil referral units, girls’ schools and sixth form colleges. It runs after-school sessions for 15 different groups every week and has introduced an innovative coloured wrist band scheme that motivates young people to progress and develop their skills to the best of their ability

Last year, Addington Court won the Golf Foundation’s Bonallack Award, given for a great school project, and earlier this year were runners-up in England Golf’s GolfMark Club of the Year Award. The GolfMark recognises clubs which are junior and beginner friendly.

England Golf development manager Richard Flint said: “It is a fantastic achievement by Addington Court to have won this School Links award.

“The club has shown a consistently excellent attitude to reaching out to local youngsters. The children have benefitted hugely from the coaching of the Addington Court PGA professionals, who have a high degree of dedication, imagination and skill, and really get the best out of each individual.”

Paul Oliver (pictured right) and head professional Simon Shepherd (left) will be presented with the £1000 award by the Earl of Wessex at the Alliance’s annual meeting on 19 July.  

Tim Lamb, chief executive of the Alliance said: “The awards are an annual highlight for grassroots sport and recreation. It’s the work of these clubs and organisations that create cohesive communities, more happy and motivated people and a pool of talent for the future.”